[Assessment 1188] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions orComments?!

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Sadan, Noa Noa.Sadan at montgomerycollege.edu
Fri Feb 8 11:59:57 EST 2008


Jodi,

The classroom mix of the highly educated literate students who didn't
know English with the literacy level beginning English students was
often a challenge. The first (unstated) task was to help the educated
students realize that they might learn a great deal from those who
picked up oral language faster than they did.

Techniques for dealing with the mixed levels:
The Key: fostering a sense of community within the class
Main technique: Group work - teacher as enabler, moving around the
groups

* extra reading help in reading given while class was
working on either written assignments or group projects
* groups were mixed

* always by language
* occasionally by gender
* rarely by ability (only when reading lessons
specifically for the literacy group were held)

School Job: The Refugee Center has a working Snack Bar, and Boutique
(donated clothing - everything sells for fifty cents/item).

* students polish their abilty to work together
* students learn chain of command (literacy level students
are supervisors just as often as the highly educated, since they often
have a verbal advantage)
* literacy-level students could make coffee, serve as a
cashier, and give excellent customer service
* a highly educated accountant who cannot get out an
English sentence orally, could create a cost-accounting spreadsheet see
if it was less expensive to buy bulk sugar or packets for coffee.

Other projects are used as well - making recipe books, making student
profile books. Today, with the use of the computer, the possibilities
are endless for activities for mixed classes.

Noa


________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Jodi Crandall
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 12:59 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1152] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions
orComments?!


Noa,

Thanks for sharing this. How wonderful to have had 20 hours per week
for these students. Besides mutual respect (which is very important),
were there ways in which students could use their complementary skills
to help each other. If you could describe some of the activities that
you or others used that were helpful, that would be great.

If others of you could share your experiences with mixed classes, and
how you coped with them, I think a lot of us would be interested.

The change to separate Listening, Reading and "Homeroom" classes is also
a very interesting way of meeting the needs of this diverse population.
I know that many community colleges separate their instruction in adult
ESL to oral language skills (Listening/Speaking) and written language
(Reading/Writing) skills. Are there others out there who could share
your experiences in this regard?

The presence of World English speakers and Generation 1.5 speakers in
adult ESL has further complicated the situation. I'd be interested in
knowing how others have dealt with such diverse students in adult
ESL/ESOL.

Jodi



n Feb 7, 2008, at 12:16 PM, Sadan, Noa wrote:


Years ago, the Montgomery County Refugee Training Program
(Montgomery
College, Silver Spring, MD)had highly educated people with no
English,
in class with literacy level students. It was certainly
difficult
meeting the needs of all students, but in this intensive
20-hours/week
program, a tremendous mutual respect was fostered between the
groups.
Typically, the highly educated students raced ahead with reading
and
writing, while the literacy students sped ahead with oral
language. The
Somali mother of nine would say to the Russian engineer, "I wish
I could
read and write like you!", while the Russian woman would reply,
"I wish
I could speak like you."

All this ended with a slightly different solution. The Refugee
Center,
then under the direction of Donna Kinerney, divided that school
day into
separate Listening,Reading and "Homeroom" classes. Homerooom
took in all
skills, plus the introduction to the American workplace. This
model was
in place when we began to get World English speakers who were
not
literate. It provided a solution in which they could study in a
literacy-level reading/writing class, and interact in a higher
level
Listening and Homeroom class.

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 3:10 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1139] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No
Questions or
Comments?!

Jackie and Forrest,

I think most large programs separate literacy level students
from others
who are at a beginning level. I know that back in the 1980s
when there
were large refugee ESL programs, several community colleges
created
parallel ESL classes for the beginning levels and even into
intermediate
levels, with one set of classes for students with limited
literacy or
prior schooling and another for more educated students. The
reason was
that the students with less education made slower progress.
Some of
this is undoubtedly due to the way in which we teach English
(requiring
literacy), but it is also because students need to become
accustomed to
attending classes, learning to hold and use a pen or pencil, and
a wide
range of basic skills that come with being a student in a class.

Those of you who have separate classes for those who need
literacy:
Can
you tell us what kind of classes or program you provide?

Those who teach both literacy and more educated learners in the
same
class: Can you let us know how you manage? What are some ways
in which
you accommodate both sets of needs?

Jodi

Forrest,
I like the idea of separate classes for those with a
literacy
background and those without. These two groups have such
different
needs. Having both in the class make it difficult for a
teacher to
meet the needs of either group well and I find that
often the stronger


students dominate the class, and their drive push the
teacher forward.


If the instructor does not keep up with the students who
are learning
at a faster rate, they often become frustrated and leave
or mentally
check out. However, if the instructor keeps up with
those students,
the others are unable to keep up and they get
frustrated.
I think that literacy could perhaps be separated out.
And regardless


of how you do it, well-trained instructors are
essential.
Jackie


On 2/5/08, Forrest Chisman <forrest at crosslink.net>
wrote:


To all of you who commented on level of prior
education as a factor
in student performance:



Everyone with whom Jodi Crandall and I talked
believes that more
highly educated students do better in terms of
persistence, learning


gains, and transitions. And learning theory
would lead us to expect
this.
Regrettably
we found very little hard data about how much
difference prior
education makes, because too few programs track
the level of prior
education of their students and correlate it
with outcomes. DO any of


you do this? That is, do you have any data on
HOW MUCH difference
level of prior education makes?
Or
any strong impressions? And are there "cut
points" in prior education


that seem to make a difference -- e.g. students
who are completely
illiterate, students who at least reached high
school, high school
graduates, college graduates, etc. -- or is
level of prior education


pretty much of a continuum?



More importantly, what can programs DO to narrow
the gap between
highly educated students and those with less
prior education?
Presumably students with very low levels of
education are more likely


end up in the lower level ESL courses (Literacy
or Low-Beginning
levels) why are (almost by
definition) in the business of teaching basic
literacy and sometimes


math.
Why isn't this enough? In your experience, does
the "gap" exist at
these levels too, or mainly at higher levels? At
any levels, would it


be desirable to place less highly educated
students in separate
classes from those with more education and
adjust the
curriculum/support systems for them accordingly?
Some programs have
tried "native language literacy" or the Spanish
GED. What has been
the experience of any of you with these
approaches? Any other ideas?
IS there an adult ESL equivalent of "bi-lingual
education" that
should be tried?



It seems to me that we need to come up with
better ideas. Because the


people who study immigration tell us that the
level of education of
immigrants has been falling. And if Immigration
Reform mandates large


numbers of undocumented people to "learn
English" (whatever that
means), ESL programs may be swamped with
students who have very
little education in their native countries and
too little money to
serve them. So anyone who has any ideas about
how to bridge this
"education gap" could help us a lot by posting
ideas about how to
close it on this discussion list.



Forrest Chisman

Vice President

CAAL







*From:* assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
*On
Behalf Of *Tina_Luffman at yc.edu
*Sent:* Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:32 PM
*To:* The Assessment Discussion List
*Subject:* [Assessment 1109] Re: {Dangerous
Content?} RE: No
Questions or Comments?!




Hi Jackie,

Thank you for this information. I believe this
research must be what
my former Spanish teacher was basing her
argument on for bilingual
education in the K-12 school system.

Tina

Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu

*"Jackie Coelho" <jackie.coelho at gmail.com>*
Sent by:
assessment-bounces at nifl.gov

02/05/2008 11:13 AM

Please respond to
The Assessment Discussion List
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Subject

[Assessment 1108] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE:
No Questions or
Comments?!






Hi Tina,

This has been researched already and is the
basis for the arguement
in favor of bilingual education, a good idea
that was not implemented


in the best way. For many years people have
known that a good
foundation in literacy in the first language
will facilitate learning


in a second or third language.

Another interesting twist is the existence of
languages that are not
written.

Jackie


On 2/5/08, Tina_Luffman at yc.edu
<Tina_Luffman at yc.edu> wrote:

Hi list members,

My experience teaching ELAA students in
the GED class is similar to

that
of

Gail. If the student has a solid
educational background in the
country

they

came from in their native language, they
tend to advance rather

quickly
and

get their GED. Those coming with 6th
grade educations from their

country
or

lower tend to stay in the GED class for
years and do not make much
advancement.

This experience relates well to research
done among Native American

tribes

teaching them English. Those Native
Americans who were first taught

literacy

skills in their own tongue learned
English much quicker than those
who

tried

to learn literacy skills in English
without that background in
their

own

tongue. I also found similar problems
when I was learning Spanish.
The concepts I could mentally translate
from English to Spanish
were much

easier

to grasp and learn than those I didn't
know in English. Perhaps
this

is

something deserving more research.

Tina
Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu

-----assessment-bounces at nifl.gov wrote:
-----

To: "The Assessment Discussion List"
<assessment at nifl.gov>
From: "Gail Burnett"
<gburnett at sanford.org> Sent by:
assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
Date: 02/04/2008 06:34PM
Subject: [Assessment 1104] {Dangerous
Content?} RE: No Questions or


Comments?!


Warning: This message has had one or
more attachments removed
Warning: (not named).
Warning: Please read the
"AttachmentWarning.txt" attachment(s) for

more

information.

In our small adult education program, my
experience (just about
three

years)

is that students with solid educational
backgrounds advance,

particularly if

they're not working too many hours.
Those who advance the slowest,
if

at

all, are immigrants who are barely
literate in their first
language. I

would

say that lack of education is a bigger
factor than lack of time; a

student

who works full-time and is exhausted
often will still succeed
because

he/she

is familiar with academic work, and is
goal-oriented. What we do is

try
to

get our low-level students to come up
with goals, but that's a hard

concept

in a second language.

This does not mean that the factors
mentioned in the research don't

play
a

part, though. I'm one of those
barely-trained teachers
(transitioned

from

another career, got trained mainly
through workshops rather than

classes).

My skill level very well may contribute
to students' slow

advancement.

It's

hard for small adult education programs
to get highly skilled ESL

teachers.

The pay is low and there are no
benefits. But my program is

encouraging
me

to get extra training and has me on a
plan of improvement. I think

we're

making some progress.

Does this address any of the issues? And
am I submitting it right?

________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov on
behalf of Marie Cora
Sent: Mon 2/4/2008 6:50 PM
To: Assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1103] No Questions
or Comments?!


Hello everyone,

I'm so surprised! No one has anything
to comment on regarding your


program's effectiveness at helping ESL
students advance?? I was
very curious to know if subscribers
experience the same types of
issues

that
Dr.

Chisman and Dr. Crandall found in their
research: a lack of
intensity

of

instruction/few protocols for
transitioning students/few
opportunities

for

professional development.

What are the issues in your program that
you feel inhibit the ESL

student

from advancing? What do you try to do
about that?

Please post your questions and comments
now.

Thanks!

Marie Cora
Assessment Discussion List Moderator


Marie Cora
marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com
<mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>
NIFL Assessment Discussion List
Moderator
<marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>

http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment



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--
JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Professor, Education Department
Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy & Culture
Coordinator,
Peace Corps Master's International Program in ESOL/Bilingual
Education
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) 1000 Hilltop
Circle,
Baltimore, MD 21250
ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax: 410-455-8947/1880
email: crandall at umbc.edu
www.umbc.edu/llc/
www.umbc.edu/esol/
www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html



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